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Tags archaeology , Egypt history , pyramids

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Old 14th July 2016, 07:00 AM   #81
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The only stone polishing I have done is limited to the cut ends of granite and marble countertops with modern abrasives and power tools, and it's still very easy to make a bad job of it. Drilling holes in stone, though... I've done plenty of that. Modern carbide and industrial diamond core-drills and hole-saws are guided by the machines that turn them, or by a mandrel that self-centers in a pilot hole. Even with those technological advancements, getting the hole to precisely track the course you want it to presents the greatest difficulty in the task.

Looking at the images of the weighted crank drills in HansMusterman's link to the Penn Museum site, I can imagine that the use of such a tool would take me a day to learn and a week to develop anything approaching proficiency. Getting the thing started without wandering must be a real bitch with only a shallow chiseled groove to constrain the cylinder. I also imagine that such a hefty device would require some months of painful physical training before one could run the beast for four hours at a go.
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Old 14th July 2016, 08:01 AM   #82
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@HighRiser:
Well, at the time (and for the next 3000 years straight) technology didn't evolve very fast and people had several years of apprenticeship to learn a job. And especially stonecutting and carving were in huge demand in Egypt, and thus a profitable trade to learn. Not just due to pyramids, but also due to religious stuff like the cube statues that could support your dead relatives' Ka (soul.)

So I'd imagine there wasn't a shortage of people more than willing to spend years (not just months) learning every way to cut or drill a stone.

But yeah, to be sure, doing it must have been VERY tiring and even painful work. Especially doing it in he sun at like 120 degree temperatures.
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Old 14th July 2016, 08:08 AM   #83
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I wholeheartedly agree.

I forgot to quote the bit about wondering why modern scholarship doesn't take the time to perfectly match ancient works.
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Old 14th July 2016, 08:55 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Noriabooks View Post
Ok, here we go! Wasn't THAT hard? Well, I can only blame myself for not finding it on my own but what can I do? I just didn't. Excuse me. Right!
Your particular and unusual google is broken. Okay.

Originally Posted by Noriabooks View Post
If this drill result they show, is really theirs, then this is the jackpot! That is EXACTLY what I'm looking for!! The only thing I'm worried is that this site doesn't have much information about it. Just a couple af pics and as a skeptic, you might understand yourself that this is just a bit too few to prove something. But really, thank you very much for finding even that much. This may give me some hope that someone has done this with a bit more documentation if you know what I mean.
Are you seriously suggesting that it was beyond your ability to google it all on your lonesome? Really?

Originally Posted by Noriabooks View Post
Can you tell me more specifically, if there are any videos or better references about what they do/did? No newer materials? Everything i find about them online seems to be from past. I'm just always looking for better material, nothing else.
Are you really suffering under the illusion that it must be on youtube or else it isn't true? Go to a library, or an actual university.

When I was growing up, there was no such thing as an internet. Want to research anything? then you stuck your head in the libraries and universities. You made the effort to compose snail-mails to the actual experts. And you waited for the snail mail replies.

You must realise that A) not everything is on the internet and B) somehow everyone functioned perfectly well before there ever was an internet and C) not everything on the internet is remotely true.

It is well known, for example, that Abraham Lincoln stated that quotations on the internet are largely untrue. Prove me wrong.
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Old 14th July 2016, 10:26 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by HighRiser View Post
The only stone polishing I have done is limited to the cut ends of granite and marble countertops with modern abrasives and power tools, and it's still very easy to make a bad job of it. Drilling holes in stone, though... I've done plenty of that. Modern carbide and industrial diamond core-drills and hole-saws are guided by the machines that turn them, or by a mandrel that self-centers in a pilot hole. Even with those technological advancements, getting the hole to precisely track the course you want it to presents the greatest difficulty in the task.

Looking at the images of the weighted crank drills in HansMusterman's link to the Penn Museum site, I can imagine that the use of such a tool would take me a day to learn and a week to develop anything approaching proficiency. Getting the thing started without wandering must be a real bitch with only a shallow chiseled groove to constrain the cylinder. I also imagine that such a hefty device would require some months of painful physical training before one could run the beast for four hours at a go.
Ninja'ed on this I think, but i'll continue anyway.....In the context that seems like a pretty good argument for the technology. If the Egyptian structure was like many others, one might well expect a person doing this to be a specialist, perhaps to have apprenticed in the craft. Things can happen pretty slowly. Imagine if you were a stone driller, doing this all by hand, but not in such a modern hurry. Imagine if you're one of an army of craftsmen, and it's a good day's work to get one good straight hole through a rock. It's hard to start a trepan at a reasonably high feed speed without a guiding mechanism, but what if you did it carefully and slowly by hand? If you had a couple of hours in which to get an unguided hole saw started, and if this was a skill at which you had been trained, I imagine it would not seem so hard.
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Old 14th July 2016, 10:37 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Ninja'ed on this I think, but i'll continue anyway.....In the context that seems like a pretty good argument for the technology. If the Egyptian structure was like many others, one might well expect a person doing this to be a specialist, perhaps to have apprenticed in the craft. Things can happen pretty slowly. Imagine if you were a stone driller, doing this all by hand, but not in such a modern hurry. Imagine if you're one of an army of craftsmen, and it's a good day's work to get one good straight hole through a rock. It's hard to start a trepan at a reasonably high feed speed without a guiding mechanism, but what if you did it carefully and slowly by hand? If you had a couple of hours in which to get an unguided hole saw started, and if this was a skill at which you had been trained, I imagine it would not seem so hard.
To expand on that. By default, modern recreations are perforce, amateur recreations. The Egyptians had tons of practice and learning. The odd expectation that a contemporary scientist should get it right at first blush seems more than a little odd. The craft of stoneworking was handed down over generations, yet somehow, contemporary scientits must be able to replicate this straight out of the box? That's baloney.
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Old 14th July 2016, 11:13 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Ninja'ed on this I think, but i'll continue anyway.....In the context that seems like a pretty good argument for the technology. If the Egyptian structure was like many others, one might well expect a person doing this to be a specialist, perhaps to have apprenticed in the craft. Things can happen pretty slowly. Imagine if you were a stone driller, doing this all by hand, but not in such a modern hurry. Imagine if you're one of an army of craftsmen, and it's a good day's work to get one good straight hole through a rock. It's hard to start a trepan at a reasonably high feed speed without a guiding mechanism, but what if you did it carefully and slowly by hand? If you had a couple of hours in which to get an unguided hole saw started, and if this was a skill at which you had been trained, I imagine it would not seem so hard.
Quite so, I'm sure. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the ancient specialists had many methods that have been lost to the mists of time.

Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
To expand on that. By default, modern recreations are perforce, amateur recreations. The Egyptians had tons of practice and learning. The odd expectation that a contemporary scientist should get it right at first blush seems more than a little odd. The craft of stoneworking was handed down over generations, yet somehow, contemporary scientits must be able to replicate this straight out of the box? That's baloney.
Absolutely. The quality of the result of a job done with any tool is dependent upon the skill of the hand and mind that wield it.

The point I was trying to make is that today, there's no one to learn these skills from. The time that would have to be invested in relearning ancient crafts to the level that the ancients were able to achieve is vast, and no sane person is going to make such an investment.
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Old 14th July 2016, 02:30 PM   #88
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Just to expand even more, though, they also didn't do very perfect jobs. You have the occasional aborted job, like the wrong angled cut in a sarcophagus or that botched obelisk they never finished. Hell, even in other domains, we have stuff like a botched mummy, which resulted in a nightmarish grimmace like the guy is frozen in the middle of a hell of a scream.

Even the holes we're talking in this thread, are not very perfect. They're not a constant diameter, for example, as you'd get with a modern drill. The hole widens by almost 25% to the outside, where the material pushed out was also pushing the emery particles sideways. They're just good enough to put a rope through and lift that stone lid.

Basically, while I have all respect for their craft and all, the pyramidiots often give the impression of a super-perfect job that rivals, or even surpasses, modern work. But it's not. The secrets of the old craftsmen weren't THAT perfect. It's impressive for that age, but that's about it.
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Old 14th July 2016, 02:43 PM   #89
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Back on the topic, I would also like to add that while we don't have images of STONEMASONS drilling holes, we have a very good image of a CARPENTER drilling a hole in a box in the tomb of Ti. And, conveniently enough, it even has a legend that says "drilling of a box by a carpenter."

Needless to say, it shows no sign of any power tools. It's just a kneeling guy holding a vertical dowel with one hand, and presumably rotating it with a perpendicular stick held in the other hand. It's as low tech as it gets, really. It's lower tech than your grandfather's crank driven drill.

Source: Gold Of Praise, edited by Emily Teeter and John A Larsson, page 29

Anyway, you'd THINK that if the alien pharaohs had power tools to even drill holes in a vizier's sarcophagus, they'd also be used for the ceremonial boxes for the Pharaohs' tombs, right? (Those holes are in the sarcophagus of a vizier, not a Pharaoh.) I mean, right?

Edit: I stand corrected. We do have images of a stonemason drilling, e.g., in the mastaba of Senedjemib Inti. And again it actually has a caption that says "boring out a diorite vessel by the overseer of craftsmen."

Seems like it kinda solves it, innit? I mean, it's actual contemporary illustration of how it was done.
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Old 14th July 2016, 06:47 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Back on the topic, I would also like to add that while we don't have images of STONEMASONS drilling holes, we have a very good image of a CARPENTER drilling a hole in a box in the tomb of Ti. And, conveniently enough, it even has a legend that says "drilling of a box by a carpenter."

Needless to say, it shows no sign of any power tools. It's just a kneeling guy holding a vertical dowel with one hand, and presumably rotating it with a perpendicular stick held in the other hand. It's as low tech as it gets, really. It's lower tech than your grandfather's crank driven drill.

Source: Gold Of Praise, edited by Emily Teeter and John A Larsson, page 29

Anyway, you'd THINK that if the alien pharaohs had power tools to even drill holes in a vizier's sarcophagus, they'd also be used for the ceremonial boxes for the Pharaohs' tombs, right? (Those holes are in the sarcophagus of a vizier, not a Pharaoh.) I mean, right?

Edit: I stand corrected. We do have images of a stonemason drilling, e.g., in the mastaba of Senedjemib Inti. And again it actually has a caption that says "boring out a diorite vessel by the overseer of craftsmen."

Seems like it kinda solves it, innit? I mean, it's actual contemporary illustration of how it was done.
Our protaganist will find such things to be insufficiently personally satisfying as explanations. This gold standard of evidence will never be explained. Or met.

Am I getting more cynical as I age? Pretty much.
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Old 15th July 2016, 12:01 AM   #91
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Well, I still like to start from a position of "I don't know what their motives are", until evidence is provided to change that expectation. No need to preemptively harrass the guy, is all I'm saying.

To return to the topic at hand, though, I'd like to add one more piece of circumstantial evidence:

What ancient alien theorists seem to conveniently forget is that Egyptians didn't just bore those holes. As I was saying, there was a LOT of demand for stone work in ancient Egypt.

E.g., when you thing vases and cups and such, you normally think ceramics, but Egyptians had lots of stone and a shortage of wood. So a LOT of such containers were actually hollowed out stone.

Hell, even door hinges consisted of the door at the lower end swinging around a stone with a hole in it.

There were literally hundreds of thousands of holes drilled each year.

That kind of abundance of power tools SHOULD leave a lot of archaeological record. We're not talking just one alien drill for the vizier's sarcophagus, which might get lost somewhere, but a MASSIVE industry of drilling or hollowing out stone. If there were power tools and carbide tungsten drill bits, the numbers involved say we'd be almost certain to find some of those drill bits. But we did't.
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Old 15th July 2016, 12:07 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Noriabooks View Post
I have thought about it but i see no reason why do it like that? To carv inner grooves into relatively narrow holes is a pain in the ass. Wouldn't you agree?

But about the "spiral" holes - I told I'm not even sure if they are spiral after all. If drilled as the conspiracy theorists suggest, they should be spiral but has anybody actually confirmed them to be spiral? If not, then the conspiracists are doomed in a blink of an eye. If they are, then we have one more thing to explain.
Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once twice. You don't mean spiral, you mean helical.
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Old 15th July 2016, 12:45 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by HighRiser View Post
The point I was trying to make is that today, there's no one to learn these skills from. The time that would have to be invested in relearning ancient crafts to the level that the ancients were able to achieve is vast, and no sane person is going to make such an investment.
There are iron age researchers who look into how some of the stuff they find might have been produced, but they don't delude themselves that a lot of it isn't guesswork. Good guesswork, and educated guesswork, but still guesswork.

Recreating an ancient craft with little more to go on than the final artifact and some bits of tools which may or may not have been the things used is not easy.

At least the Egyptologists have some pictorial guides!
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Old 18th July 2016, 03:54 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
There are iron age researchers who look into how some of the stuff they find might have been produced, but they don't delude themselves that a lot of it isn't guesswork. Good guesswork, and educated guesswork, but still guesswork.

Recreating an ancient craft with little more to go on than the final artifact and some bits of tools which may or may not have been the things used is not easy.

At least the Egyptologists have some pictorial guides!
Exactly. I've been following this to read up on the concepts, but the fundamentals is that while we have several, even many, good ideas how a thing was accomplished, we can't say for certain which one was used, or in what combination. For example, there's an excellent documentary called "Secrets of the Viking Sword"I believe you can watch it on YouTube. A modern swordmaker sets out to craft an Ulfberht sword, starting with raw iron, and going through, very roughly, the process that a smith would to forge the sword. They make some changes to the process, and provide the reasoning for it, partially because the smiths of the time didn't know exactly what they were doingit's how they were taught to do it, and they knew it worked.
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Old 18th July 2016, 05:18 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by RobRoy View Post
Exactly. I've been following this to read up on the concepts, but the fundamentals is that while we have several, even many, good ideas how a thing was accomplished, we can't say for certain which one was used, or in what combination. For example, there's an excellent documentary called "Secrets of the Viking Sword"I believe you can watch it on YouTube. A modern swordmaker sets out to craft an Ulfberht sword, starting with raw iron, and going through, very roughly, the process that a smith would to forge the sword. They make some changes to the process, and provide the reasoning for it, partially because the smiths of the time didn't know exactly what they were doingit's how they were taught to do it, and they knew it worked.
That was a decent documentary, but I think that the reverence with which they referenced the Ulfberht swords bordered on woo.

It reminded me a lot of the way Japanese swords are treated by people who don't know anything about swords. I half expected them to say that an Ulfberht sword could cut through the barrel of a gun.
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Old 19th July 2016, 04:30 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That was a decent documentary, but I think that the reverence with which they referenced the Ulfberht swords bordered on woo.

It reminded me a lot of the way Japanese swords are treated by people who don't know anything about swords. I half expected them to say that an Ulfberht sword could cut through the barrel of a gun.
And in the same way that centuries from now a good piece of kit will be similarly fetishized by our descendants - the lost secrets of the Holland and Holland double rifle, etc.
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Old 19th July 2016, 06:31 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
And in the same way that centuries from now a good piece of kit will be similarly fetishized by our descendants - the lost secrets of the Holland and Holland double rifle, etc.
If you haven't run across it, see if you can find a copy of David Macauley's Motel of the Mysteries.
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Old 19th July 2016, 08:14 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That was a decent documentary, but I think that the reverence with which they referenced the Ulfberht swords bordered on woo.

It reminded me a lot of the way Japanese swords are treated by people who don't know anything about swords. I half expected them to say that an Ulfberht sword could cut through the barrel of a gun.
Naw, I get it. They are impressive swords for the time and technology. Compared to the standard iron sword that your average warrior might own, these did sorta border on the magical. Being able to craft one at the time, especially when they didn't exactly what the process was doing, is fascinating. It's grandma's Christmas ham, except in this case it actually had a reason.

Katanas get extra woo from Westerners because they're doubly exotic.
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Old 19th July 2016, 08:42 AM   #99
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Well, technically katanas are also impressive technology FOR THE TIME AND PLACE. The available iron was simply too high in sulfur, and my take is basically that that's what it took to make a sword that can cut through silk with that material.

But, of course, that still falls short of cutting through machinegun barrels.
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Old 19th July 2016, 09:09 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, technically katanas are also impressive technology FOR THE TIME AND PLACE. The available iron was simply too high in sulfur, and my take is basically that that's what it took to make a sword that can cut through silk with that material.
Agreed. There are different degrees of quality among the katanas, just as there are among Oakeshott type X, like the Ulfberht. Some are poor, some are decent and some are high quality. We certainly know the reasons for this, the smiths at the time may have had guesses, or may simply have been following a formula. Probably a mixture of the two, in the cases of the higher quality artifacts.
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Old 19th July 2016, 03:26 PM   #101
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Just to add, some of that is also intentional. The more sophisticated designs, like making sure the sword isn't just pattern welded, but has a core of mild steel laminated between layers of high carbon steel, or whatnot, were very labour intensive and VERY expensive. You couldn't even sell only those, just like todays you couldn't have everyone driving a Ferrari. So there was a whole spectrum of models produced, from the lowest end model being just made from a bar of mild steel, all the way to the layered and laminated things I just described.

The swords issued to retainers tended to be the cheapest and simplest models, and doubly so for ashigaru. Those guys often even got some rusty antique dug off some battlefield. If you wanted anything better than that, well, you had to buy your own weapon, and not everyone could afford a Masamune or similar masterpiece.
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Old 19th July 2016, 03:33 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Just to add, some of that is also intentional. The more sophisticated designs, like making sure the sword isn't just pattern welded, but has a core of mild steel laminated between layers of high carbon steel, or whatnot, were very labour intensive and VERY expensive. You couldn't even sell only those, just like todays you couldn't have everyone driving a Ferrari. So there was a whole spectrum of models produced, from the lowest end model being just made from a bar of mild steel, all the way to the layered and laminated things I just described.

The swords issued to retainers tended to be the cheapest and simplest models, and doubly so for ashigaru. Those guys often even got some rusty antique dug off some battlefield. If you wanted anything better than that, well, you had to buy your own weapon, and not everyone could afford a Masamune or similar masterpiece.
Exactly so. Which helps add to the mystery/mystic of the higher end blades, especially when the process for turning iron into steel is reasonably unknown. It seems like magic, and thus cutting a slab of granite becomes "possible" in the mythology. This also adds prestige to the owners of those weapons, while putting even more demand on the makers, and upping their asking price!
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Old 19th July 2016, 05:18 PM   #103
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And during Viking times, most people wouldn't have a sword anyway. Most would be armed with a spear, an axe, and a seax.
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Old 19th July 2016, 11:20 PM   #104
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And of those who had a sword, not everyone could afford a genuine Ulfberht. Yeah, I get that.

I'm not saying there's something more special about japanese swords than about Norse swords. If anything, the Japanese were actually NOT making up the kind of stuff about cutting through anvils and whatnot that Europeans did. The Japanese were more like obsessed with sharpness, so the stories were more along the lines of the sword cutting a butterfly that lands on its edge or a leaf floating in a river or such.

The stories about katanas cutting through steel are more like WW2 material. And funnily, some of the officer katanas there were actually the "kaigunto" naval officer sword, which were made of untempered stainless steel. So, you know, about as mystical as the cheapest supermarket wall-hanger
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Old 20th July 2016, 02:11 AM   #105
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I've got a friend with one of those. It's a real POS sword, but it holds a lot of sentimental value for him.
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Old 20th July 2016, 08:24 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
And during Viking times, most people wouldn't have a sword anyway. Most would be armed with a spear, an axe, and a seax.
Yep. All of which needed less metal, and could be made on the cheap!

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
And of those who had a sword, not everyone could afford a genuine Ulfberht. Yeah, I get that.
Sorry, totally wasn't arguing with you. I have little doubt you know much more about this subject than I do. In fact, I was agreeing and tacking on what little I know and find interesting.

Quote:
I'm not saying there's something more special about japanese swords than about Norse swords. If anything, the Japanese were actually NOT making up the kind of stuff about cutting through anvils and whatnot that Europeans did. The Japanese were more like obsessed with sharpness, so the stories were more along the lines of the sword cutting a butterfly that lands on its edge or a leaf floating in a river or such.
Yep, that's where we get the legend of Muramasa challenging his master Masamune. It's all leaves and grass floating past the blades and being cut to bits.

Quote:
The stories about katanas cutting through steel are more like WW2 material. And funnily, some of the officer katanas there were actually the "kaigunto" naval officer sword, which were made of untempered stainless steel. So, you know, about as mystical as the cheapest supermarket wall-hanger
And sad stories of swords being tested by owners who believed the stories, only to find out they had ruined a very good sword when it didn't accomplish the impossible.

Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I've got a friend with one of those. It's a real POS sword, but it holds a lot of sentimental value for him.
A friend of mine got a katana for me, but I'm pretty certain she was taken. The seller said it was an "old" blade, but couldn't tell her anything else. Alas, the mekuki peg appears to be a rivet and welded to the handle, and there isn't much of a hamon at all that I can see. It might be an old ceremonial sword, but it wasn't what my friend wanted to get me.
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Old 20th July 2016, 09:56 AM   #107
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Sounds like possibly a kodachi to me. About half-way through the Edo period, civilians got allowed a blade for work or (especially for merchants and other travellers) self-defense, as long as it wasn't longer than 1.7 shaku (1 shaku is almost exactly 1 ft) and wasn't fixed to the handle with removable mekugi.

There are a lot of those, and they show a LOT more variability than samurai/ashigaru gear. A lot indeed aren't differentially forged, so they don't have a hamon line. Others do.

Also note that swords made during the Sengoku Jidai (or earlier at the end of the Genpei war, or right after the mongolian invasion, but something THAT old would probably be a rare find) have a very faint hamon, and generally without the large sparkling crystals in the hamon of later new-new-swords. Those actually have an edge of TEMPERED martensite, because if you get the heat flow just right, it quenches directly to tempered martensite instead of the brittle martensite of the later new-new-swords with wide beautiful hamons. The upside is that these things were made for war, and that edge isn't brittle at all, unlike those later new-new-swords.

Mind you, it still won't cut through steel or anything, but at least the edge didn't shatter if you hit another sword or a piece of armour.

In any case, without actually seeing it, it's hard to tell exactly which it is, if any.
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Old 20th July 2016, 10:01 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Sounds like possibly a kodachi to me. About half-way through the Edo period, civilians got allowed a blade for work or (especially for merchants and other travellers) self-defense, as long as it wasn't longer than 1.7 shaku (1 shaku is almost exactly 1 ft) and wasn't fixed to the handle with removable mekugi.

There are a lot of those, and they show a LOT more variability than samurai/ashigaru gear. A lot indeed aren't differentially forged, so they don't have a hamon line. Others do.

Also note that swords made during the Sengoku Jidai (or earlier at the end of the Genpei war, or right after the mongolian invasion, but something THAT old would probably be a rare find) have a very faint hamon, and generally without the large sparkling crystals in the hamon of later new-new-swords. Those actually have an edge of TEMPERED martensite, because if you get the heat flow just right, it quenches directly to tempered martensite instead of the brittle martensite of the later new-new-swords with wide beautiful hamons. The upside is that these things were made for war, and that edge isn't brittle at all, unlike those later new-new-swords.

Mind you, it still won't cut through steel or anything, but at least the edge didn't shatter if you hit another sword or a piece of armour.
Oh, thank you. That's interesting in relation to this sword. I'd vote that my friend was more likely taken, than she found a truly rare sword, but . . .

Quote:
In any case, without actually seeing it, it's hard to tell exactly which it is, if any.
Yep. I'd considered taking it in, but where it didn't meet most of the hallmarks, I didn't think it was worthwhile. Given this, I might just shell out for someone to review the sword and give me an opinion!
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Old 20th July 2016, 10:18 AM   #109
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Quote:
The stories about katanas cutting through steel are more like WW2 material. And funnily, some of the officer katanas there were actually the "kaigunto" naval officer sword, which were made of untempered stainless steel. So, you know, about as mystical as the cheapest supermarket wall-hanger
NCO and officer swords are still extant in the modern US military. My sister walked down the aisle beneath at least a dozen swords held by uniformed AF officers in her wedding at the Academy Chapel. During a change of command ceremony series for my Guard unit, they handed off a sword - departing 1st SGT to his Captain, handing off to the incoming Captain, passing the buck down to his incoming 1st SGT. I've seen better steel in fantasy pawnshop swords with glass-eyed-dragon handles. It has an NSN, though.
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Old 20th July 2016, 10:46 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Jrrarglblarg View Post
NCO and officer swords are still extant in the modern US military. My sister walked down the aisle beneath at least a dozen swords held by uniformed AF officers in her wedding at the Academy Chapel. During a change of command ceremony series for my Guard unit, they handed off a sword - departing 1st SGT to his Captain, handing off to the incoming Captain, passing the buck down to his incoming 1st SGT. I've seen better steel in fantasy pawnshop swords with glass-eyed-dragon handles. It has an NSN, though.
Oh, very much so. Just, well, those tend not to be hyped as able to cut through machinegun barrels and such. I wasn't talking smack about the kaigunto per se, but only in relation to that kind of legends about katanas in the WW2.
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Old 20th July 2016, 10:50 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by RobRoy View Post
Oh, thank you. That's interesting in relation to this sword. I'd vote that my friend was more likely taken, than she found a truly rare sword, but . . .
Well, I think the seller should be the one showing some kind of paper from an expert. Otherwise, yeah, they may very well be BS-ing you. I was just geeking out about history, not saying you should buy it.

In any case, probably the easiest way to see if it's NOT a kodachi is to just measure the blade. If it's 1'9" or longer, it's definitely not. I mean, it would get you killed as a civilian if it measured more than 1.7 shaku and someone actually got ye olde measuring rod out.
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Old 20th July 2016, 11:02 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by Jrrarglblarg View Post
NCO and officer swords are still extant in the modern US military. My sister walked down the aisle beneath at least a dozen swords held by uniformed AF officers in her wedding at the Academy Chapel. During a change of command ceremony series for my Guard unit, they handed off a sword - departing 1st SGT to his Captain, handing off to the incoming Captain, passing the buck down to his incoming 1st SGT. I've seen better steel in fantasy pawnshop swords with glass-eyed-dragon handles. It has an NSN, though.
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Oh, very much so. Just, well, those tend not to be hyped as able to cut through machinegun barrels and such. I wasn't talking smack about the kaigunto per se, but only in relation to that kind of legends about katanas in the WW2.
Definitely for ceremonial use only. Not that you couldn't stab through flesh, but it would have to be a lucky thrust not to break anything on the saber. (Even at USMA they are called sabers even though they have no curve).
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Old 20th July 2016, 11:10 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, I think the seller should be the one showing some kind of paper from an expert. Otherwise, yeah, they may very well be BS-ing you. I was just geeking out about history, not saying you should buy it.
Agreed. Aforementioned friend simply bought the sword as a gift. She did not pursue any proof of authenticity, and the seller didn't offer anything beyond "It's old." I accepted the gift graciously and have not made any kind of fuss over it.

Quote:
In any case, probably the easiest way to see if it's NOT a kodachi is to just measure the blade. If it's 1'9" or longer, it's definitely not. I mean, it would get you killed as a civilian if it measured more than 1.7 shaku and someone actually got ye olde measuring rod out.
Will do!
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Old 20th July 2016, 11:41 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
Definitely for ceremonial use only. Not that you couldn't stab through flesh, but it would have to be a lucky thrust not to break anything on the saber. (Even at USMA they are called sabers even though they have no curve).
It's not an USMA thing only. Infantry sabres in the 18'th and 19'th century routinely had very little to no curve. The 1786 and 1796 pattern British Infantry Officer's Sword were routinely called a sabre, but had a straight spadroon blade. The 1822 and 1845 gothic-hilt patterns had a VERY slight curvature, and the 1892 pattern returns to a very straight blade again. Plus, from 1827 officers were allowed to buy their own swords, as long as the hilt was the regulation one, and a lot of the infantry officers went for straight swords.

Heck, even a lot of the _cavalry_ officers' "sabres" of that age are straight, and a few are even double edged. Though one must say, less often than the infantry sabres.
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Old 20th July 2016, 01:05 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
And during Viking times, most people wouldn't have a sword anyway. Most would be armed with a spear, an axe, and a seax.
Isn't a seaxe a type of sword? It looks likes a curved scimitar with a nick near the business end. That would make it a sword, surely?
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Old 20th July 2016, 01:11 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
It's not an USMA thing only. Infantry sabres in the 18'th and 19'th century routinely had very little to no curve. The 1786 and 1796 pattern British Infantry Officer's Sword were routinely called a sabre, but had a straight spadroon blade. The 1822 and 1845 gothic-hilt patterns had a VERY slight curvature, and the 1892 pattern returns to a very straight blade again. Plus, from 1827 officers were allowed to buy their own swords, as long as the hilt was the regulation one, and a lot of the infantry officers went for straight swords.

Heck, even a lot of the _cavalry_ officers' "sabres" of that age are straight, and a few are even double edged. Though one must say, less often than the infantry sabres.
Interesting stuff. Didn't most ACW cavalry sabers actually curve, perhaps not as much as a scimitar but pronounced enough to be easily noticeable?

Without claiming any expertise I would suspect that such a curve would provide some benefit in the saddle.
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Old 20th July 2016, 01:13 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by Jrrarglblarg View Post
NCO and officer swords are still extant in the modern US military. My sister walked down the aisle beneath at least a dozen swords held by uniformed AF officers in her wedding at the Academy Chapel. During a change of command ceremony series for my Guard unit, they handed off a sword - departing 1st SGT to his Captain, handing off to the incoming Captain, passing the buck down to his incoming 1st SGT. I've seen better steel in fantasy pawnshop swords with glass-eyed-dragon handles. It has an NSN, though.
And a meaningless nitpick here: It was likely cadets and not officers who formed the saber arch.

The passing of the saber during the change of command is interesting. When I both assumed and relinquished command it was through passing the guidon, which was the practice in every CoC ceremony I ever participated in or saw.
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Old 20th July 2016, 01:13 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Isn't a seaxe a type of sword? It looks likes a curved scimitar with a nick near the business end. That would make it a sword, surely?
It is the word for knife so not really. Though that dividing line can be confusing.
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Old 20th July 2016, 01:27 PM   #119
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British forces don't have any 'sabres' they are all Swords.
There are 28 of them on the books at the moment.
My favourite is the 1908 pattern Cavalry Sword. Centuries of experience and development went in too it and it came in to service just too late for serious use. It has a pistol grip and the blade is long and dlim, designed for skewering as well as slashing, it replaced the lance. There are two versions, Troopers and Officers. Not to be confused with the Household Cavalry sword, they still use the heavy 1892 pattern sword, it looks more ornate for state occasions.
Royal Artillery Swords are based on the old Light Cavelry Pattern and have a slight curve and Generals Swords are highly curved with an Indian Pattern hilt.
Buy one from Pooleys of Sheffield http://pooleysword.com/en/Military_Swords
or Crisp and Sons http://www.crisp-and-sons.com/aboutus.htm

My dad has an old Wilkinson Royal Navy Officers Sword.

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Old 20th July 2016, 01:29 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
And a meaningless nitpick here: It was likely cadets and not officers who formed the saber arch.

The passing of the saber during the change of command is interesting. When I both assumed and relinquished command it was through passing the guidon, which was the practice in every CoC ceremony I ever participated in or saw.
Well, if you wanna get all technical it was the CoR, when the first shirt hands off Responsibility. The saber symbolizes what the 1SG holds for his Commander. I didn't want to get into the weeds because most people don't care.

The guidon is the commander handoff, symbolizing the unit as a whole.
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